Do you ever get tense just thinking about everything you have to do?
Especially on Monday morning?
Nothing feels better than doing what you say you’re going to do.
And nothing feels worse than disappointing others, except for disappointing yourself.
This conversation has come up for me multiple times in the last week with several different people. That’s how I know it’s important to share with you.
That’s why I’m taking a few minutes as we both start our week to tell you what happens, in your life and in your brain, when you follow through and stick to your goals. I’ll also teach you how it affects your brain and mood when you don’t.
A client of mine set a January goal of decluttering her office (I’ll call her Kathy). The clutter was symbolic of her M.O. in general-how she operates. As Kathy put it, “I’m always in chaos”
I’ll share the tips I gave Kathy for sticking to her goal so that you can try them too:
- Break the goal down to small, manageable bites.
- Make the goal “sticky” (attach it to something you already do routinely)
- Set milestone goals each week so that you know you’re on track
Here’s Kathy’s initial plan:
- Pick up and organize clutter for 30 minutes every day
- Do this first thing in the morning when she turns the light on (you’d never forget to turn the light on, right?
- At the end of each week take a picture of her office so she can see the progress.
It’s working!!! We’re halfway through the month and MORE than half of the office is decluttered.
But here’s the part that is WAY more valuable than a clean office.
Kathy has begun to TRUST herself that she’s going to follow through.
This is so important because the act of trusting LITERALLY tells her brain to be calm.
AND it begins to wear a groove or neural pathway in the brain that says “I can achieve my goals”
Another very cool thing that is happening is that Kathy’s family is starting to clean up after themselves more. By Kathy’s example, the family is now taking her “rules” more seriously and responding by following through. She holds more integrity with everyone around her.
If Kathy wasn’t decluttering her office right now, the message to the brain would be one of mistrust and disappointment which is STRESS. Any stress, real or perceived, causes the brain to send message to release cortisol and adrenaline. Prolonged elevated levels of these chemicals deteriorate our cells and lead to feeling tired and depressed and even contribute to risk for weight gain and disease.This stress SABOTAGES production of feel good chemicals like Serotonin and Dopamine.
When you don’t do what you say you’re going to do, you sabotage your brain’s function and feed the Ego mind that thinks “I can’t do it” and this becomes a downward spiral of emotion, thoughts and behavior.
GOOD NEWS: You can turn it around any time you choose. Practice the 3 Tips I gave you above.
Start now. You don’t have to be perfect. No matter WHAT . . . just keep practicing.[Tweet “As long as you put in the effort, you’ll eventually see results.”]
PS – If this exercise is hard for you, it may be because your Serotonin and other Feel Good Brain chemicals are already so depleted it’s difficult to focus and have confidence. I can help with that. Doors are open for The Brain Makeover which is six PROVEN steps to your BEST brain, body, moods, energy, focus AND success in sticking to your goals. See if this can help you with our Free Self Scoring Brain Chemistry Assessment.